Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apraxia Handouts

For those of us with kids (with apraxia, obviously. Otherwise that would be weird.) starting school, here are some new handouts that might be useful. The first one made me cry. Of course.

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Nea started Kindergarten today. She was fine. It went well. I had forgotten over the summer what a punch in the gut it is when I ask her how her day was, and she can't tell me.

But she is stringing together more and more words. A few days ago she said, "No, Papa bru air." (Papa brush hair.) And on the way home from our trip to Minnesota she said, "O-mo dere?" (Almost there?) a bunch of times. Totally cute. And today she said, "No spiel ou-dide, rain" (No playing outside. Rain.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The advantage of having the same friend for 18 years

Scenario 1: My friend Jill is driving her minivan and asks me to pay the $5 parking fee, as she has no cash. No problem, sez I. I open my wallet and consider my options. Do I want to break a 20? Sort of, but that’s annoying at a parking garage. Hmm, I have a lot of singles. I could use those. But that’s kind of obnoxious at a parking garage, too. I have a $5 bill. I guess I’ll just use that. I hold it up to the light, idly checking the anti-counterfeit strip. Jill is still driving down the long ramps, around and around toward the exit. She turns to me and says, “Is that the one, then?” We dissolve in laughter at how ridiculous I am.

Scenario 2: We’re putting together dinner. It’s steak salad with garlic bread. She makes the garlic bread the way her mom does, with floofy white bread and butter and garlic salt. There’s a little bit of bread left. We’re discussing how our parents sometimes undermine our attempts to have our children eat healthy meals. Jill says, “Yeah, we were eating dinner, and my mom gives my daughter three pieces of buttered bread! That’s just so unnecessary.” I nod and make sincere “I agree” noises. She looks over at me. I’ve stuffed another piece of the leftover white floofy bread into my mouth, so I can’t actually talk. We laugh so hard I’m worried I’m going to pee my pants.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Week 9: Jog, Swim, Tennis

Total Jog: 12
Total Swim: 7
Total Tennis: 5

I'm wrapping up a week ahead of schedule on my self-imposed exercise routine. I'm going to be too busy to work out next week. Overall, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm definitely in better shape. A little firmer. A few pounds lighter. Not much, but still. Clothes fit a little better again.

Let's do the math. I did a total of 24 jog/swim/tennis sessions. That's an average of 8 instead of 9 for the 9-week period. I can live with that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fall gardening

Here's a fantastic resource for anyone who has heard of fall gardening, but hasn't actually figured out how it works yet. Plug in your region and what month it is, and it'll tell you what options are available to you: Mother Earth News - What to Plant Now

Hey, look, I'm a hippy! I read Mother Earth News now! AND I LIKE IT. Naturally I get it from the library. I'll report back on how my fall gardening experiments go. I sure wish I could find brussel sprout seeds. Next year, right?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 8: Jog, Swim, Tennis

Total Jog: 11
Total Swim: 6
Total Tennis: 5

Turns out that publicly declaring one’s intentions to work out a lot does change one’s behavior. If I’m on the fence about going for my jog/swim/tennis, knowing that I won’t lie to my Adoring Public is enough to make me go through with it. But apparently not enough to make me catch up on the swim/tennis. Hmmm.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Biking with kids

N and I met partially because we both biked. More accurately, I was looking at the personal ads and circling ads with the word “biking” in them. This was back in the day before online dating. The stone ages where the Chicago Reader had actual print ads, and the person placing the ad could opt to have a recorded message to talk about themselves a bit more, and you could email or voice mail the person you were interested in. N still has a copy somewhere of my message to him. I asked him which Muppet was his favorite.

Anyway. Biking. We biked on our third date. We biked quite a bit during our kid-free years. We bought a house a block from a major biking path. I dream of a vacation where the whole family bikes down the path next to the Danube. My 82-year-old uncle still bikes. He’s cool.

When I was pregnant, I didn’t bike. Seemed too risky. When the kids were under a year, we didn’t bike with them. Too risky with their weak little necks wobbling under the weight of the helmets. Then we bought a bike trailer, and we used it some. Then we got two kid seats that go on the back of the adults’ bikes. Then we got two Trail a Bikes. It’s complicated because the kids are always changing size. Have you noticed that? Currently we’re doing pretty well with the two Trail a Bikes. Nea started using hers a full year younger than Boo did. That “my sister is so cool and I want to be just like her” thing is really working for us.
For shorter trips, they use their own bikes, of course. It's the longer trips where they need some help. Anyone have a full-sized tandem they don't want anymore? We're thinking that might work for us in a few years.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gardening advice for the day

Diversify. My bush beans are being eaten by chipmunks or rabbits and are a loss, but my pole beans (3 different varieties) are doing great! But even there, I have a favorite type that is outperforming the others. I will plant more of those next year. Cherry tomatoes ripen earlier than the larger varieties, and therefore are more productive in a freakishly cool summer like this one (in Chicago, not Seattle). I have at least 5 different types of tomatoes this season. How else will you know what works best in your soil/climate/light conditions?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week 7: Jog, Swim, Tennis

Total Jog: 10
Total Swim: 6
Total Tennis: 4

Wow, I never thought I’d become such a jogger. However, it’s really helping my tennis, I guess, since my serve has really improved. The backhand has not. Beth and I don’t even keep score; we just have fun. It was a good workout this week! Did I mention I got my racquet from Freecycle? Love me some Freecycle. I requested 2 adult racquets and got 3 adult, 2 kid, and some of those fancy zippered racquet holders.

I also got a Wii EA Sports Active game. Boy, am I sore AGAIN. I’ll be comparing it to Wii Fit and My Fitness Coach pretty soon. I should probably use it more than twice before spouting off my opinion.